Thomas Mann was the first writer since Goethe to attract a large international audience to stories written in German, bringing German fiction into the mainstream of European literature. His second major work, The Magic Mountain (1924), explores the heady intellectual culture of the chaotic and broken Germany that emerged from the First World War, and, along with the earlieThomas Mann was the first writer since Goethe to attract a large international audience to stories written in German, bringing German fiction into the mainstream of European literature. His second major work, The Magic Mountain (1924), explores the heady intellectual culture of the chaotic and broken Germany that emerged from the First World War, and, along with the earlier Buddenbrooks, earned him a Nobel Prize for literature in 1929. Mann himself considered The Magic Mountain to be his greatest novel, and few in his own day doubted the preeminence of this modernist classic; however, many have argued that the age of literary modernism has passed. If this is so, how might we best understand Mann's masterpiece now? Topics covered in this volume, which aims to provide both a survey of and new research into important aspects of the work, include Mann's comic vision, his homosexuality, his fraught attitude toward Jews, the place of his novel in the landscape of postmodern life, the theme of solitude, music in the novel, and technology. Stephen D. Dowden is Professor of German at Brandeis University. Contributors: David Blumberg, Michael Brenner, Stephen Dowden, Edward Engelberg, Ulker Gokberk, Eugene Goodheart, Joseph P. Lawrence, Karla enner, Stephen Dowden, Edward Engelberg, Ulker Gokberk, Eugene Goodheart, Joseph P. Lawrence, Karla Schultz, Susan Sonta...
|Title||:||A Companion to Thomas Mann's Magic Mountain|
|Number of Pages||:||270 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
A Companion to Thomas Mann's Magic Mountain Reviews
Generally speaking, I don't think it makes much sense to get excited about derivative works, and this collection of (mostly) academic articles is no exception. I picked up this book immediately after reading The Magic Mountain. I found the latter work fascinating, powerful, at times both deeply affecting and immensely funny. But the depth of symbolism, and philosophical and historical context often left me baffled. So I turned to the experts for some illumniation. The book contains 11 essays, which are, quite frankly, hit or miss. If you (like me), are looking for clarification and a deeper understanding of the themes of The Magic Mountain, I recommend the penultimate chapter "Distant Oil Rigs and Other Erections" by Kenneth Weisinger. Obviously, this chapter is devoted to the Freudian symbolism pervasive throughout Mann's novel, but it also explores the work's allegorical references to the colonial and miltary expansion of Europe's empires, which led directly to World War I and the culmination of the novel. There are other interesting essays in the collection. Notably, Michael's Brenner's "Beyond Naphta" explores Thomas Mann's complex attitude toward European and International Jewry, which, as Brenner points out, was very consistent with German writers of his era. Also, Susan Sontag's "Pilgrimage" is a delightful memoir of her surprising encounter with Thomas Mann, when the mighty author invited her and her friend (at the time mere high school students) to tea in his personal home in California!Overall, a worthwhile read if you loved The Magic Mountain, and long for a fuller understanding of the philosophical, historical and aesthetic context from which Mann proceeded.
helped a great deal to outline some interpretations of Mann's gigantic novel of ideas
Thomas Mann's Magic Mountain is one of my favorite novels. Rather than re-read the novel for a book club, I decided instead to read this collection of critical essays. However I confess that I was only able to finish reading about half of the essays. Most of the topics were interesting, however the articles were too academic, some quite difficult to absorb. I think my problem was that I did not originally connect with this novel on an academic level, and I was somehow losing the essence of what gripped me upon my reading the novel years ago. However I admit that I was able to glean much insight into Thomas Mann as both author, and as a person, from these essays. Much of his often contradictory themes (war/love/illness/health/death) were explored in depth, and linked to what is now known about Mann's health problems, his homosexual tendencies, his "German-ness" and his supposed anti-Semitism (though his wife was Jewish). I hope to someday complete reading all the essays, at least Susan Sontag's article. Maybe.
The Magic Mountain invites discussion and further study. I read this book because I enjoyed the novel so much, and I wanted to hear what the critics might say about it. I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about the novel.
Several excellent essays that enlighten this masterful book.